Tuesday, 9 June 2015

70 years since the Aussies hit the beach to protect the Sultana oil.

“The island of Borneo, with its oilfields and strategic location for the offensive against British Malaya and Dutch Java, was one of the prime targets of Japan's military offensive of 1941-42. The Japanese systematically and swiftly secured their objectives in Borneo during the early months of their 'push' into the resource-rich Southern Area (South-East Asia) following Pearl Harbor. The Miri and Seria oilfields in Sarawak and Brunei respectively were captured without much fuss in less than a fortnight of their initial landings off the north-west coast of Borneo in mid-December 1941. Before the close of January 1942, the Dutch oilfields at Tarakan and Balikpapan were under Japanese control. By 1943 Bornean oil was contributing to the Japanese war machine.

{3} The later part of 1944, however, witnessed the increasing effectiveness of the American navy in cutting off Japanese shipping lines between the home islands and the Southern Area. Moreover, Allied bombing raids were continuously carried out on oilfields and other strategic areas of Borneo from Australia. As the American offensive gained ground in the Philippines, the Japanese home islands increasingly lost their links with sources of oil supply in Borneo.

{4} The island of Borneo came within the scope of operations of the South-West Pacific Area (SWPA) under the command of the American general, Douglas MacArthur.1 Despite its oilfields, Borneo did not feature high on MacArthur's list of priorities. He was obsessively determined to re-take the Philippines at all costs, arguing that an American occupation would hastened the defeat of Japan through cutting off the Japanese supply line from its Southern Area. More importantly, MacArthur saw his return to the Philippines – which he left hurriedly in early 1942 for Australia – as a means of restoring American prestige and honour. It was an apparent case of political expediency overriding military strategy.

{5} In order to facilitate his reconquest of the Philippines, MacArthur struck a deal with the Dutch that he be given "complete authority in the East Indies during any military operations". In return, he promised to restore Dutch authority in their colonies as rapidly as possible.2 Therefore, the recapture of the Netherlands East Indies, particularly Java, became part of MacArthur's plans. The seizure of Borneo was to offer bases to launch his offensive against Java. Furthermore MacArthur argued that the Bornean oilfields would be denied the enemy and instead deployed to Allied advantage.

{6} Nonetheless MacArthur had no intention of committing American land forces in the Borneo campaign. Instead, Australian troops would spearhead the offensive there, with landings planned at Tarakan, Brunei Bay and Labuan Island, and Balikpapan – in that order. The Australian Army had ample American naval and air support, and also from the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), for amphibious operations. The 1st Australian Corps, consisting of the 7th and 9th AIF Divisions under the command of Lieutenant General Sir Leslie Morshead, was entrusted with the Borneo operations.” https://www.awm.gov.au/journal/j37/borneo.asp

Notice the uninterrupted stay behind ops in the hills. Watching. No one bothers with the gold, just the oil.

SAS ops there twenty years later, mid 60s, found this part of town, Tawao etc., was an unspoiled idyll. Again, a decade after that, we find the 1970s (UK?) equivalent of the USS Jimmy Carter spooking around the Philippines picking up heavy metals for flushing through the LMC.

What is so astonishing about the troofers sudden noticing of banker deaths recently is that this is not a new occurrence. Murder around stolen loot. The demographics have simply indicated a high degree of social mobility for the thieving classes over the decades.